The Harvard System
4th Edition, 2011.
Section One – Aspects of Referencing
1 What is referencing? p. 4
2 Why reference? p. 5
3 What is the difference between a reference list
and a bibliography? p. 6
4. How do I present referred material in my essay? p. 6
5 How do I cite authors in my essay? p. 7
6 What rules apply if there is more than one author? p. 8
7 What will my reference list look like? p. 8
8 Where do I find the exact information I need
for my list of references? p. 9
9 Is an editor cited like an author? p.10
10 What do I do if I can’t find a named person
as the author/editor? p.11
11 What do I do if I want to refer to a part or chapter of a
12 What do I do if I want to cite an author that someone else has cited? p.12
13 How do I use quotations? p.13
14 How do I distinguish between two items by the same
author in the same year? p.14
15 How do I distinguish between two authors with the
same surname in the same year? p.15
16 What do I do if publication details are not given? p.15
Section Two – Formats for Printed Material
2.1 Books p.16
2.2 Journal article p.17
2.3 Corporate author p.17
2.4 Government Publications p.17
2.5 White or Green Papers (Command Papers) p.18
2.6 Conference papers p.18
2.7 Newspapers p.18
2.8 Legislation p.19
2.9 Theses p.20
2.10 Patents p.20
2.11 British Standards p.20
2.12 Maps p.21
2.13 Diagrams p.21
2.14 Musical Score p.21
2.15 Works of Art p.22
Section Three – Formats for Electronic and other Material Types
3.1 World Wide Web p.22
3.2 E-book p.23
3.3 Electronic Journal (WWW) p.24
3.4 Blogs p.24
3.5 Wikis p.25
3.6 YouTube p.25
3.7 CD-ROM and DVD p.25
3.8 Mailbase/Listserv e-mail lists p.26
3.9 Personal Electronic Communication – E-mail p.26
Section Four – Other Material Types
4.1 Videotape p.26
4.2 Film p.27
4.3 Images – Online p.27
4.4 Broadcast Media – TV/Radio Programmes p.28
4.5 Personal Communications; conversations, interviews or
telephone calls p.28
4.6 Cochrane Reviews p.28
4.7 Seminar/Lectures or Lecturer’s Notes p.29
4.8 Notes taken by self at lecture p.29
4.9 Unpublished material p.29
4.10 Software Code p.29
Section Five – Points to Remember!
Points to remember! p.30
Section Six – Plagiarism and University Policy on Referencing
Statement on Plagiarism (from University Student Code 1999) p.30
University Policy on referencing p.31
Section Seven – References
References and bibliography p.32
Referencing – Questions & Answers
The aim of this document is to offer an introduction to the practice of referencing published material to anyone who is starting to write essays/reports for academic purposes. The ‘question & answer’ format is used so that the reader can easily check areas of specific concern to them. After reading these ‘questions & answers’ you should be able to:
- understand the need for, and how to use, reference systems (specifically the HARVARD SYSTEM)
- indicate others writers’ ideas in your own work using accepted citation style
- format appropriate references correctly from these citations
- deal with a range of common and less common bibliographic and electronically formatted material
Look out for this Nb. sign: –
– this indicates important notes which highlight specific aspects of style or referencing practice.
Q. What is referencing?
Academic writing normally involves using the material you have read and studied to justify and support the answer to your essay or question. When preparing a piece of written work you will refer to this information (ideas, theories, statistics or data) in an agreed way or format (the Harvard System). Making reference to other people’s work is called ‘citing’, and the list of these authors’ works are given at the end of a piece of written work in the form of a ‘reference list’.
The process of citing authors (and the associated reference list) can be done in one of two main styles – the Harvard or the Numeric. These are both described in the British Standard BS5605 – Citing and Referencing Published Material (British Standards Institution, 1990). This guide describes the Harvard Referencing System.
Whichever system is adopted, one golden rule applies:
*** be consistent in everything you do! ***
This consistency applies to format, layout, type-face and punctuation.
Q. Why reference?
It is the normal academic convention to reference material you have read from the existing scholarly body of knowledge that exists in your subject area. To write in an ‘academic’ way you must refer to this information to show where it has come from, and use it to construct your answer to the question posed by the essay or other piece of academic work. An essay without references in the text and a full reference list at the end would not normally be considered ‘academic’. So in the broadest sense you reference for a number of reasons:
- To support an argument, to make a claim or to provide ‘evidence’
- To acknowledge other peoples’ ideas or work correctly
- To show evidence of the breadth and depth of your reading
- To avoid plagiarism (i.e. to take other peoples’ thoughts, ideas or writings and use them as your own)
- To allow the reader of your work to locate the cited references easily, and so evaluate your interpretation of those ideas
- To avoid losing marks!
Q. What is the difference between a reference list and a bibliography?
At the end of your essay under the heading ‘references’ you list all the items you have made direct reference to in your essay (by the authors’ name and year of publication). This list of books, journals, newspaper articles (or whatever) is organised ALPHABETICALLY by the names of the authors (or originators) of the work. This is your reference list (often called References).
Also, during the course of your preparatory reading you may use material that has been helpful for reading around the subject, but from which you do not make specific reference to in your essay. It is important to acknowledge this material. Under the heading bibliography list all these items, again alphabetically by author, regardless of whether it is a book or journal. Include this list after the reference list.
Confusingly some people call the ‘reference list’ the ‘bibliography’ (and only use one list). No one is right or wrong in doing either, often institutional convention will determine some aspects of style.
Q. How do I present referred material in my essay?
You present material in two main ways:
- Paraphrasing or summarizing text that you have read – this is the most common way to use material. Putting the ideas into your own words (in the context of answering the question) and then stating where that information came from (see next section). Paraphrasing and summarizing is a skill that needs to be practiced and developed.
- Quoting material directly from its source – word for word as it was in its original form (See page 12). It is less usual to do this. Your essay should not be a ‘cut and paste’ exercise using other peoples’ words. Use quotations only when you have to use the text in its original form or for presenting a longer quote which you use to highlight and expand on ideas or issues in your essay.
Q. How do I cite authors in my essay?
The Harvard System (sometimes called the ‘name and date system’), uses the NAME of the author of the work you wish to cite and the DATE it was published. These are incorporated into the text of your work each time you make reference to that person’s ideas.
- This principle applies to any item that you need to reference regardless of what it is or where it comes from – you need to find the author and date of publication.
The author (or originator) is the person or organisation responsible for producing that information and their details should be found in the source document. Author/originators can be individuals or ‘corporate’. The author and date then become part of the text of your essay. Surname(s) only are used; initials are not included. Names can be used as part of the sentence or placed in brackets with the year following.
Names and dates will appear in your text like this:
…There are many factors relating to individuals perceived body image. Jones (2009) has suggested that body image is related to self-esteem. Johnson and O’Brien’s’ (2010) study with 80 adolescent girls shows that they are also strongly influenced by media images…
Or the name and date can be in brackets (separated by a comma):-
… some commentators suggest that body image is related to self-esteem (Jones, 2009), others believe a more complex relationship exists … (Philips, 2005; Norton, 2008)
Use this form in the middle of a sentence or at the end of a paragraph when you don’t want to ‘name’ the author as part of the sentence.
If a work appears to have no name attached to it then [Anon] can be used as the author instead of a name.
- Some works are the result of co-operation between lots of individuals none of whom can claim authorship e.g. dictionaries, encyclopaedias and films or videos. Titles can then be used in the place of the author name e.g. Gone with the wind.
- If no date can be found then [n.d.] can be used (see page 15)
Q. What rules apply if there is more than one author?
If there are TWO authors the names of both should be given in the text and in the reference list. If there are more than two authors the name of the first author only should be given, followed by the abbreviation et al. (meaning ‘and others’).
Knowles et al. (2009) showed that polymer …
et al. is in italics and is followed by a full stop.
Within the reference list it is best practice to include all the named authors for your reference.
Wilkins, R., Menzies, A., Wilder, B. and Priestley, S. (1999). Social Psychology. 7th ed.London: Routledge.
Q. What will my reference list look like?
Everything you cite in your essay will be listed once alphabetically by author (or originator) and subdivided by year and letter, if necessary.
Adams, P. J. (2004) Mill workers in Lancashire 1845-1875.London:CambridgeUniversity Press.
Bishop, J. and Lawrence, T. (1998) A history of Victorian employment. Edinburgh:EdinburghUniversity Press.
Knowles, D. (2005) The way forward: historical change and revisionism